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Meet the intersectional creatives disrupting Berlin tech

Factory Berlin and Sónar+D’s Artist in Residence program supports artists exploring new lines of inquiry, intersecting technology & society. With support from Beats by Dr. Dre, the program aims to discover how creativity in technology and exploratory art can work together.

PHOTO: CHERIE BIRKNER

This autumn the program is launching its second edition, with hundreds of applications from artists all around the world. The multidisciplinary designer, AR filter creator and creative technologist Tabitha Swanson was one of the participants.

I joined with 11 creatives from a collective I’m a part of, Digi-Gxl. We all came from slightly different creative backgrounds, myself coming from multi-disciplinary design and creative tech backgrounds. I work in art direction, UX/UI, and XR, but have a background in marketing, design, and fashion as well. So many of the other creatives are also multi-disciplinary and I think that allowed us to look at things from many different angles.

The main project Tabitha Swanson and her fellow colleagues worked on during the residency was a collaborative VR gallery where they all showcased pieces of the work in a surreal fantastical space that the user could walk around and experience.

Today she is very grateful for the opportunity to participate in the program.

It meant a lot in different ways, honestly. The Factory Berlin team is incredible, with a special shoutout to Sandira Blas (Curator & Researcher, Artist Residencies) who’s the backbone of this program. I appreciated having a safe and open space to work on and talk about ideas that were sometimes very outside of common practices. I think it’s what naturally happens when you put a bunch of creative people who are very passionate about what they do in enclosed quarters for a long time – the ideas just start flowing and don’t stop. Factory Berlin has taken up a very solid part of my life in terms of community and the people I worked with in the program have not only become peers to work on projects with, but dear friends.



Another participant was Caroline Barrueco, experienced in 3D printing and experimental tech, who was also involved in the VR gallery. During the residency she took the opportunity to collaborate with several fellow residents and finalized many creative projects. With residents Yifan Pu and Jutta Babak she developed a facial recognition blocker mask and with Reeps100 she 3D printed a vocal sculpture, giving a physical shape to his voice.

II learned a lot about how to brand my art. This connection of artists and entrepreneurs is truly needed by both parts, and the Factory Berlin x Sónar+D residency was good in bridging such conversations.


Click here to learn more about the program, the artists, and meet the new residents!

This article is made in collaboration with Factory Berlin.

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